mex food

Tex Mexi Quinoa Soup: This soup. Hnnng. Mmm. Yes. I’d say it’s perfection in a bowl. We don’t need no side dishes! It’s a complete package! You have bursts of crunch and freshness from a colorful selection of vegetables. You have brightness from touches of apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed citrus. We most certainly cannot forget our smoke from the chipotle and chilis. It has your complex carbohydrates, protein, and micronutrients all in one bowl. This recipe requires quite a few ingredients, but I need to stress that you’re about to make a metric ass ton of food out of this. Yes, that’s a very, very official unit of measurement

  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs of ground turkey
  • 2 cups of quinoa (cooked to the package’s instruction)
  • 2 TBSP of oil, such as olive
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 fresh anaheim chilies, diced (a single green bell pepper could substitute)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers, diced, and with 2 TBSP of adobo sauce
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (low sodium or no salt added)
  • 1 32 oz carton of chicken stock (no salt added)
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz can of red kidney beans (no salt added)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn
  • salt, to taste
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • juice of half a very ripe lemon

Directions: Prepare all the vegetables and set them aside. In, frankly, the largest pot you got; heat up 1 TBSP of your oil over a medium-high heat. Add your ground turkey, add a few pinches of salt, break it apart with your cooking spoon and keep stirring until it is done through. Once done, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Add the rest of your oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook it until it is soft and fragrant. Stir. Next, add the carrots, bell peppers, anaheim chilies, and chipotles with adobo. And another pinch of salt, stir, and cook these until soft and fragrant. Then, add the black pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Stir, and let them heat up to release their oils and fragrance. 

Add your meat back in and stir to combine absolutely everything and get it coated very well. Once that’s smelling amazing, add the apple cider vinegar, stir, and let the contents simmer for a minute or two. While it’s simmering, off to the side start cooking your quinoa. It should take about 15 minutes. Time management, y’all. After that’s all set up add the crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, red kidney beans, and corn. Add a generous amount of your salt. Bring the heat up to high until the contents begin to boil. 

Once boiling, bring it back down to low and allow it simmer. Let it simmer until the quinoa in the other pan is done, then add the quinoa, squeeze the lemon, and let the final mixture simmer for about another 15 minutes. This recipe yields 12 mega-sized portions.


Chicken tortilla soup for another rainy Portland day

I admit it – every once in a great while, I will make something mid-day for our evening meal, just so I can enjoy the opportunity to photograph when there’s good, natural light. Once I’m satisfied with my pictures, the meal gets packaged up and ta da! - all I have to do for dinner is reheat my masterpiece.

It had been far too long since I had made chicken tortilla soup, so there I was at 2pm sautéing onions, warming homemade chicken broth, and throwing favorite ingredients together for the soup. While the soup simmered, I grated pepperjack cheese, sliced a beautiful avocado, crushed some tortilla chips, and snipped fresh cilantro. When everything was ready, out to the garage I went - camera around my neck, and soup in hand.

Dinner was still hours away, but I couldn’t help myself to a generous “taste” of this amazing soup after I finished shooting. It was so good, it took all of my willpower not to spoon out a second helping. Three hours later I ate it again, generously heaped with garnishes.

Another delicious recipe for this soup appeared here when tango mango was a baby. This newer rendition doesn’t cook with tortilla strips, but it’s equally good, if not better.

Tango mango chicken tortilla soup – serves 6 to 8. It’s just as good reheated the next day.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 (11 ounce) can shoepeg corn
  • 1 cup white hominy
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt, to taste


  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Sliced avocado
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or pepperjack
  • Chopped green onions
  • Cilantro


In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, saute onion in cooking oil until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste, and add salt if needed.

Stir in corn, hominy, chiles, beans, and chicken. Simmer for 10 additional minutes.

Ladle soup into individual serving bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cheese, green onions, and cilantro.

The below picture shows the soup without the garnishes.

And here it is with just the cheese…

This is my generous “taste” after shooting these pictures.

once I had a dream that my manager at work thought I was flirting with her boyfriend so she was yelling at me like we were on a mtv reality show right there in a tex mex fast food restaurant while we were making fucking tacos (I don’t even work on the production line but I still somehow knew exactly how to make everything) and then I woke up crying

seeing her irl the next day was really awkward


As Serrano chili peppers blister over the blue flame of the burner, they pop and crackle and give off a burnt, but pleasant odor. I use tongs to turn them and expose different sides to the fire. After their exterior skins are completely blackened, I take them off the fire. Hot peppers go into a glass bowl and a lunch plate covers them to create a steamy space. Five minutes later, it’s easy to slip off their skins. I cut them open and deseed them – they’re stacked, sliced, and diced fine.

This is the way I make my own diced green chilis. These are destined for chili.

im listening to the second zone zone right now and man is it refreshing to hear Griffin talk about how any interpretation of these characters is rad and valid eyy

EDIT: you guys have no idea how sweet it was to hear Griffin say 

“At the time Justin definitely was not making uh a latinx character and naming them after a Tex Mex dinner food right that would be pretty racist pretty problematic it was just this is a silly name to name somebody.” 

Like damn i got a surprising number of messages telling me because of Taako’s name it was racist of me not to portray him a certain way (despite him also being yknow a made up race) like boy howdy. I’d known Griffin validated all forms of these characters, but it was music to my ears to hear him confirm this as well. Though i wanna make it clear i don’t think any Taako is wrong like i love seeing different interpretations including dark skinned renditions. My point is i didnt appreciate the lowkey harassment I got for not matching other people’s headcannons.

TD;DR all Taakos are rad my dudes